November 21, 2020: Bright Morning Star Venus shines in the east-southeast this morning above the speedy planet Mercury. Use a binocular to spot Mercury near the star Zubenelgenubi.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:48 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:25 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus rises in the eastern sky about 4:15 a.m. CST, over an hour after Mars sets in the west. As sunrise approaches, find it low in the east-southeast. It is moving eastward in front of the stars of Pisces. Mercury – near the horizon – to the lower left of Venus, is 1.8° to the upper left of Zubenelgenubi. Use a binocular to see the star.
Mercury is completing its best morning appearance of the year as it heads toward its superior conjunction next month.
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise Venus – over 15° up in the east-southeast – is 2.9° to the lower left of 82 Vir and 4.9° to the upper right of Kappa Virginis (κ Vir, m = 4.2). Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Mercury – over 14° to the lower left of Venus – is 1.8° to the upper left of Zubenelgenubi.
Read more about the planets during November.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!